Genesis 12:1-5 (NLT)
1 The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you. 2 I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous, and you will be a blessing to others. 3 I will bless those who bless you and curse those who treat you with contempt. All the families on earth will be blessed through you.”
4 So Abram departed as the Lord had instructed, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Haran. 5 He took his wife, Sarai, his nephew Lot, and all his wealth—his livestock and all the people he had taken into his household at Haran—and headed for the land of Canaan. [When they arrived in Canaan,]
TIME OF DAY:
Unspecified in Bible narrative, I have made it early/mid morning.
The desert sun (off to the right) illuminates this scene, casting shadows from right to left.
Abram (walking away and waving at his father’s family) and Sarai.
The “wealth—his livestock and all the people he had taken into his household at Haran” is represented by the camel train behind Abram and Sarai. I expect there would be a lot more camels, flocks, people, etc than I have shown!
Behind Abram and Sarain there is a man and woman waving goodbye to them.
In the foreground is a member of Abram’s father’s family, inside a tent, watching the departure.
This scene shows Abram and Sarai leaving Abram’s father’s family in Haran and setting out for Canaan, the promised land.
I established Abram’s clothing design and colours in another scene (Genesis 13 – Abram and Lot separate – Scene 03 – Land choice) and have applied them here.
When I researched what Haran is currently like, it appears to be a very flat expanse of desert, which is why I’ve drawn such a flat, uninteresting landscape!
Map of Middle East showing Haran
Link to related Map
Click blue bar below to see the Map showing city of Haran, with purchase option:
12:1-2 REVELATION, Commitment (3.23C)
God revealed His plans for the immediate & far future; both for humanity & for His own part in it. People are often invited to participate in God’s plans. The first step of faith brings us to discover our own promised land. God is always beckoning us to move forward with Him to the next great horizon of His purpose.
12:1-7 ELECTION, God’s Initiative (4.11A)
Abram didn’t choose God, rather God chose Abram to fulfil His divine purposes. Abram responded in faith & obedience to God’s invitation to become the father of a people whom God would us to bless all the people of earth.
12:1-3 SALVATION, Blessing (4.26A)
God promised to bless Abram & to bless all people through him. Believers still receive the benefits of this promised blessing to Abram.
12:1-5 DISCIPLESHIP, God’s Leadership (4.33A)
Abram is a classic example of someone who trusted God’s leadership & obeyed His commands. Abram was thus really the first disciple, & father of Israel, a great example of faith to us all. God promised to give Abram a place of honour & to make him a channel of blessing to all people of earth. Discipleship is always a call to follow God’s leading, to obedience & to bless others.
12:1-3 THE CHURCH, Covenant People (5.11A)
God’s people started out as homeless wanderers, relying on God to fulfil His promises. The establishment of Israel’s monarchy did not fulfil God’s purpose, only Jesus Christ, His established church, & the final judgement can do that.
12:1-7 EVANGELISM, God’s Provision (6.11B)
The great design of salvation began with God’s gracious provision: making a covenant with Abram which lead to the making of the Jewish race which would bring forth Jesus Christ, the ultimate Savour. Salvation only ever comes from the wisdom, action, power & grace of a loving God. He alone is the provider or our redemption.
12:1-3 MISSION, Source (6.21)
God’s purpose & actions provide the source of all human missionary teaching & activity. This chapter changes the book of Genesis’ focus from general, universal creation to the election of an individual person & nation. Through personal contact, judgement, & the flood, God sought to bring humanity into willing, loving relationship with Himself. With the continued rebellion however, God took a new direction: through one man, his family & the nation who came from him, God brought about His redemptive purposes. Though He chose to work through this one man Abram, God clearly desired to bless all humanity. Through his obedience, Abram became that blessing to us all. As God promised, the nation of Israel was the true offspring of Abram. Israel often forgot that their blessings were given for the purpose of blessing others. They fell into sin & followed after false gods (see Isaiah 1:2-20). Finally God accomplished His missionary purpose through Jesus Christ. All believers in Jesus become sons of Abraham and children of the heavenly Father (See Galatians 3:7-9). We can now follow Abram’s faithful example, or else easily forget that we have been blessed to bless others.
In Luke 24:44-49 Jesus showed that all the Law, Prophets & Psalms pointed towards Himself. Next Jesus related that fulfilment to a missionary challenge (the seed thought of missions), contained in Luke 24:47-49. Jesus is the God-Man, Son of God, son of Abram, son of David. From the beginning God loved the whole world (Se John 3:16-18).
12:2-3 JESUS CHRIST, Foretold (1.21A)
Abram was blessed by God & in turn he his descendants blessed the whole world. The ultimate descendant (seed) of Abram is Jesus (Galatians 3:16). The promise of God to Abram comes also to those who believe in Jesus. God’s blessings stretch beyond believers to other people.